20 families report flooding in Escatawpa

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

ESCATAWPA, MS (WLOX) - Most Escatawpa residents knew to expect a third night of heavy downpours Friday night, but they didn't see this one coming.

"I've been living here 54 years, and it's, I've never seen it like this," said Escatawpa resident Annette Graham. "Not just a normal rain."

The water produced by the last three days' storms was definitely unusual. 20 Escatawpa families reported six to 12 inches of water in their homes, and countless others like Graham found alarming levels of water on the road.

"I got home about 6:30 this morning," Graham said. "And when I turned on Rabby street, water was up over the road, probably up to the floorboard of my car."

Over on Jody Street, several families found themselves trapped by flood waters for most of the day Saturday. Several cars along the street also took on water.

"I don't think anybody expected this," said Doretha Smith, who was stranded at her Jody Street home. "They would have moved cars. You know, you've got cars on the street is flooded out. You got cars that's stuck in water."

Nearly all the Jody Street residents who spoke to WLOX were surprised at how much water was in the street Saturday morning, but the fact that it flooded wasn't a shock to them. Residents say the street floods almost every time it rains.

"People put their trash in the drains and stuff, so when it rains it's nothing new," said 18-year-old Kaley Ritter. "It's not a surprise."

"I think there's a bad drain problem over here," said Smith.  "When we get heavy rain like this, it's hard for us to get out.  When I know it's going to be bad, I leave my house because I know I can't get out."

The Jackson County Road Department says streets like Jody Street flood because they are close to the river. They say until the river levels decrease, there's not a lot they can do to stop the flooding. That doesn't change the frusration the residents feel after days like Saturday.

When asked how frustrated she was by the flooding, resident Virginia Taplin said, "Very. But you know, this is the Lord's work. We can't do anything about it."

The Jackson County Road Department said they hadn't received a complaint from Jody Street residents in more than a year. Some of the residents said they stopped calling years ago, because they don't believe anything will be done to stop the flooding.

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